Wherever you go in the world, the sights and smells of Chinatown will always draw you to it, and Bangkok’s Chinatown district is no different. Whole days can be spent lost wandering around the many market alleys and sampling the delicious array of exotic food available at various street food vendors. Popular among locals and tourists alike, the area is a haven for foodies and shoppers looking for a great bargain. Located on Yaowarat Road, near many a hotel in Asoke like the AVANI Atrium Bangkok, it’s no surprise to see crowds of tourists mingling with locals along the narrow streets.
Thanks to the interesting mixture of Thai and Chinese cultures, Chinatown is both unique and breathtaking. You’ll find everything from spectacular temples, street food and shops just begging to be explored. Enter through the magnificence golden ceremonial gate that signifies the entrance of Chinatown and head over to Wat Traimit to view the largest gold Buddha statue in the world. For something more unusual, make your way over to the Wat Chakrawat temple, where behind a carved stupa, you’ll find a muddy pond that is home to massive crocodiles. According to temple lore, the crocodiles were eating monks, therefore they were trapped and sent to Wat Chakrawat.
Chinatown’s best attraction is the multitude of markets, like “Thieves Market” which is full of second hand pieces such as religious amulets, shoes and other interesting knick-knacks; or the numerous gold shops that line Yaowarat Road. Chinatown has more gold shops than anywhere else in Bangkok and the perfect place to find great bargains on jewellery, especially if you’re visiting during Chinese New Year.
Come evening, Yaowarat Road turns into an open air food market, with street vendors lining each side, offering up an array of popular foods such as dim sum, various types of noodles, and fresh seafood. There’s also a wide selection of fruit, homemade ice creams and ice cones with different syrups and toppings. The best way to experience Chinatown is by dropping all plans and just exploring all the alleyways and corner shops.
Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life.